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Three people share their lives in a Paris apartment. In the intimacy of this couple defying the established norm, doubt, desire and jealousy intertwine. Are they satisfied?

Director's Note

"Well, I never done a director's note for that short film so I'm gonna try to recall my state of mind when I wrote it. I remember I wanted to do something about a throuple relationship or at least a love triangle. As someone told me once: "You're obsessed with groups", which is true. I like to analyse a group's dynamic. Here I wanted to capture the intimacy, gestures of affection, looks, everything in body language that do say a lot more than words. I wanted to put the viewer in the voyeur's positon, someone who wasn't invited in this appartement, who is not appart of this relationship secretly observed this love triangle. I also wanted to emphase on the differences between a threesome that could feel like something fun without consequences and a throuple relationship which is basically being bound to someone and in this case two people. Is more always means better? And are we more satisfied sharing intimacy with two person instead of one. In this case the answer is bleak: any relationship in any forms end up to being disappointed. Another thing I wanted to show is the silence in a relationship, the resilience and how far we can go by pretending everything fine even when its not, and here glances are not lying. Its like we could feel the suffering in their looks, they are tied to each others whether they like it or not. Not a happy story huh?

For this short I choose two songs I love. One from the Norway singer Susanne Sundfør called Insects, I use it to represent the beginning of the relationship, a sort of private, intimate moment in which we discover the other person but also feel a bit greedy, there's a passion involved. The lyrics also: "and we're having fun, don't make a sound, don't tell anyone that we're having fun" was also appropriate to this relationship outside the norm, often judged by society that will be better kept as a secret.

Then the second part is kicking, I used Music ricercata, II (Mesto, rigido e cerimoniale) by Dominic Harlan from Kubrick's movie Eyes Wide Shut, which was certainly a huge influence. Using this classical piano partition created a deep contrast with the electronic/pop song from Sundfør in the first part. I wanted to represent the other part of a relationship the disillusionment. Now that the honey moon phase is over here's the naked truth. I reused some of the footage used in the first part to give them another meaning, what is really happening there? Are they really happy or just pretending to be? Also when actors look straight at the camera, breaking the fourth wall, it feels like the voyeur/viewer is uncovered. The characters cannot hide anymore.

But really reflecting on shooting Boyfriends, all I had to do was to shoot what happened in front of me, the intimacy and the friendship between actors. I gave few indications, but it was all about how they interact with each other. Then in editing, I saw, after watching the rushes over and over, that when I asked them to look at the camera, there were authentic. In their eyes they seem to ask me for help, they seem alone and unhappy. I knew that I should play with the contrast between the fake scenes of happiness they were playing and those moments of clarity to express how the couple can be a prison.

To this day I do think of movies as a way to interact with an audience, to create reactions, make them questioning themselves. Creativity is about reactions. If I do not make the viewers think, I haven't done my job or at least my film doesn't have a reason to exist. So I'm always trying to write wether in the script or on the editing process with different levels of interpretations so the audience can react, and also have a different experience the second time they watching it. 

So here it is, I gave you all the keys to understand what Boyfriends is all about, and I hope I did at least make you questioning yourself."


A short film by Axel J. Sannino
Production Company: Playground Bully (formerly known as Boyfriends)
Director: Axel J. Sannino
Writer: Axel J. Sannino
Producer Manager: Gaetan Cerrillo
Camera: Benjamin Poueymidou
Stylist: Anais Saint-Charles
Make up artist: Thierry Do Nascimento
Set Photographer: Adrien Ganzer

Lilian Rolin
Nicolas Dax
Cams Roche

Special Thanks to
Le Pigalle
Le studio Pierre
8IGB community clothing